Category Archives: Literature

When the characters in your imagination meet their movie versions

My daughter still wants me to read to her every night.

It is one of the great joys of my life.

She’s a great reader, tied for top in her class and competitive in a way I didn’t really expect, always asking to go another level up.

She likes the way I do the characters, with accents and growls and stutters.

We’ve moved on from her toddler books into the big world of pop cultural literature. When we moved recently, I found myself with two boxes of books to donate to Goodwill. When I opened the box to peek inside, I found all my favorites there. “Goodnight Moon,” “Curious George,” “Go, Dog. Go!” “Where the Wild Things Are,” and many more.

These books are books I’d proudly keep on my shelves next to my Hemingway, Vonnegut, Maclean, Harrison and Bulgakov.

Continue reading When the characters in your imagination meet their movie versions

I don’t know how to raise a daughter, so I read her princess books
The Princess and the Goblin

We started in on the princess books with gusto.

I read them in an exuberant voice, hoping she would ignore the deliciously difficult words so characteristic of late 19th century British literature.

She most certainly did not ignore those words.

“What does being cross with his wife mean?” she said, after I finished the first page of George MacDonald’s The Light Princess.

“It means he wanted to be angry with his wife,” I replied and tried to trudge through the difficult text.

Why on earth would I read Phantastes, The Light Princess and The Princess and the Goblin to my seven-going-on-eight-year-old daughter?

Continue reading I don’t know how to raise a daughter, so I read her princess books

Union Station Fridays

Late September heat, and they look uncomfortable in Fall fashions
At the train stop in the suburbs of Chicago with the first leaves fallen
The kids are hyped and the confrontations hot in the quiet car
We move from the white suburbs to the black neighborhoods to the Circle and Union Station on Friday morning
We shuffle off the train onto the narrow platform
The girls with their yoga mats and city bags, the guys in suits and ties
Old guys who’ve done this for longer than I’ve been alive
and ladies of a different class trading lies and anecdotes like recipes
The diesel fumes ravage the colognes and perfumes worn
And the roar of the “Screaming Thunderbox,” the F40PH2
fills the cavernous bowels of the station’s south side
We run headlong into a people jam trying to get through double glass doors
For the city and the towers and the coffee shops
We emerge like summer’s cicadas into broad daylight
Up escalators and stairs to the world above
Union Station on Fridays, Thursdays, Wednesdays, Tuesdays and Mondays

A poem
Tim Akimoff